Mental Health & Positive Youth Development

Mental Health & Positive Youth Development

A recent paper published in Pediatrics (2022) synthesized the available evidence from systematic reviews of mental health and positive development interventions for children aged 5–14.9 years in both high-income (HIC) and low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), with a focus on preventive and promotive strategies. 

A total of 162 reviews were included in the analysis. 

The greatest evidence was found in support of school-based universal and anti-bullying interventions in predominantly HIC. 

Moderate evidence was found for the use of substance abuse prevention, and early learning and positive development interventions in mixed settings. 

In LMIC-only contexts, the most promising evidence was found for positive youth development programs. 

The authors concluded that positive youth development and after-school programs had encouraging effects on academic achievements and problematic behaviors, including substance use and risky sexual activity, and/or more distal developmental outcomes, such as employment and health indicators. 

Interventions targeting positive development showed improvements at different contextual levels including school, homes, and community settings. 

The study authors recommended using interventions across multiple contextual levels.  

Prevention Plus Wellness offers tri-level positive youth development programs for youth, parents and communities aimed at preventing substance use and promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors and positive self-identities critical to protecting and improving the mental and physical wellbeing of youth. 

Read the entire study article:

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